Bay Area boxing community mourns 'The Greatest' Muhammad Ali

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There is strong reaction from the Bay Area boxing community and beyond to the death of "The Greatest." (KGO-TV)

There is strong reaction from the Bay Area boxing community and beyond to the death of "The Greatest."

Muhummad Ali left a lasting impression on so many lives in the Bay Area. Boxers say "The Greatest" set the standard for the sport, leaving them inspired

Joaquin Lopez is training for his next fight at King's Boxing Gym in Oakland, where posters of Muhammad Ali cover the walls. The 27-year-old is about to turn pro. He thanks "The Greatest" for paving the way.

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"He's the one who scripted it for everybody. He wrote the guidelines pretty much," Lopez said.

Ali taught athletes how to fight and how to intimidate your opponent with grace.

Trainer Frank Guzman says boxing will never be the same.

"When Ali fought, the world stopped," Guzman said. "He's the greatest of all time, but he was no match for father time. So it's a sad day for us."

Long after his boxing career, Ali fought his toughest fight against Parkinson's, bringing greater awareness to the disease.

Professor Clayborne Carson, who heads the MLK Institute at Stanford University, met Ali several times. He believes his controversial opposition to the Vietnam War and leader in civil rights made him more than just the heavyweight champion of the world.

"I think that's the inspiring story is that if you stand up for your principles and are willing to risk it all for some great value, eventually you're going to prevail," Carson said.

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Bay Area boxing champ, and Olympic gold medalist, Andre Ward never met Ali, but says the champ was a role model

"In my case personally, he was the first individual I ever locked eyes on and became acquainted to when I started boxing at 9 years old."

Ward says the rest of this year's boxing matches will be dedicated to the man who changed the sport and the world.

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Related Topics:
sportsu.s. & worldboxingcelebrityentertainmentmuhammad aliparkinson's diseasecelebrity deathsfamous deathobituaryArizona
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